Following the release of new police guidelines on anti-illegal drug operations, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) will closely monitor the strict adherence of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to the rule of law and the new operational guidelines during anti-drug operations.
DILG Officer-in-Charge Eduardo M. Ano says the Department through the Napolcom will keep a close eye on the PNP’s implementation of the new guidelines to ensure that allegations of human rights violations against police officers involved in anti-illegal drugs operations will be a thing of the past.
“With the issuance of these guidelines, we hope that the police organization will be ably guided as they provide active support to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in the anti-illegal drugs campaign,” says Ano, who is also the concurrent chairperson of the Napolcom.
The DILG OIC explains that the provisions of the newly released PNP guidelines have more weight and demand accountability thus the DILG and NAPOLCOM will be proactive in ensuring that these guidelines are fulfilled with diligence.
"It is the cornerstone of a successful campaign against illegal drugs, especially if it is met with the full support and compliance from our uniformed men in the PNP," says Ano.
The DILG chief reiterated his call that double salary means double time in serving the people. "I am demanding accountability from our police officers. With the salary increase, they should shape up or ship out."
He added that the 100% increase in salaries also means that the PNP should double their efforts in weeding out the bad eggs in the police organization.
Among the coordinating instructions embedded in the guidelines is the observance of command responsibility of every Unit Commander in closely monitoring the undertakings of their subordinates in the conduct of anti-illegal drugs operations.
Every PNP personnel is also bound to report illegal-drugs related activities/personalities within their community to their superior officer and would merit serious neglect of duty if failed to do so.
'One-strike policy' shall also be implemented if the PNP members under a Chief of Police (COP) is arrested and charged in his-her involvement in illegal drugs by other operating units; when two of more Cops under a Provincial Director (PD) are relieved due to illegal drugs issue; and if two or more PDs/CDs are relieved due to illegal drugs related issues.
"All of these, and other provisions of the PNP's operational guidelines and adherence to policies on anti-illegal drugs campaign will be closely monitored by DILG and NAPOLCOM as we try to cleanse the ranks of PNP and weed out erring cops," says Ano.
Report cases of police abuse
Ano also encourages the public to come forward and not be afraid should there be abuses by the policemen in the conduct of anti-illegal drugs operations.
"'Wag po kayong mag-atubili na i-report ang mga pulis na umaabuso sa kanilang tungkulin. Sisiguruhin ko sa inyo na masisibak sila sa tungkulin kapag napatunayang nagkasala sila sa batas," he says.
Ano says that alleged abuses can be reported directly to the DILG field offices, NAPOLCOM, or to the People's Law Enforcement Board (PLEB) nearest to their location.